POLITICO Playbook: The case for why Biden is screwed- POLITICO – POLITICO

The unofficial guide to official Washington.
Sign up for POLITICO Playbook today.
By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or updates from POLITICO and you agree to our privacy policy and terms of service. You can unsubscribe at any time and you can contact us here. This sign-up form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
11/22/2021 06:14 AM EST
Updated 11/22/2021 06:27 AM EST
Presented by
President Joe Biden’s collapse may be collateral damage in the war between the two most-vocal and least-popular Democratic factions. | Samuel Corum/Getty Images
THE LATEST IN WISCONSIN — “A person plowed their SUV through the Waukesha Christmas Parade, leaving five dead and more than 40 injured authorities say,” by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bill Glauber, Mary Spicuzza and Molly Beck
JUST POSTED — Jonathan Chait’s latest — “Joe Biden vs. the Democrats” — poses this question on the new cover of New York magazine: “Why is a once-popular president with an even more popular agenda in so much trouble?”
There’s very little blame laid at the feet of Biden or VP KAMALA HARRIS or anyone in the White House.
Instead, Chait sees Biden’s collapse as collateral damage in the war between the two most vocal and least popular Democratic factions: “a well-funded left wing that has poisoned the party’s image with many of its former supporters and centrists unable to conceive of their job in any terms save as valets for the business elite.”
These two factions have eaten away at the Biden presidency from opposite directions, Chait continues. Biden tried to govern as a DAVID SHOR Democrat, but an out-of-touch left armed with unpopular slogans — and a big assist from Fox News — conspired to thwart him. Meanwhile, in Congress, Sens. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va.) and KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) worked to rewrite the most popular planks of the Biden agenda to satisfy the Chamber of Commerce and other corporate donors.
Chait argues that these two sides have crippled Biden’s image as a centrist. The left, which Biden successfully tamed and defeated in the 2020 primaries, has reemerged to saddle Biden with unpopular cultural baggage on issues like crime, immigration and race, pushing away working-class voters (mostly white ones, but increasingly non-white as well). On the other side, the plutocrats in Congress have defined centrism as opposition to major pieces of Biden’s reconciliation bill, no matter the details.
Chait sees the president’s political condition as close to terminal because he believes that Biden isn’t able to do much to contain the damage that the left and the self-styled centrists are inflicting: “Biden is like a patient wasting away from some undiagnosable disease.”
We look forward to the civil back and forth on Twitter that the Chait piece will surely spark!
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — CONDOLEEZZA RICE will be on “Monday Night Football with PEYTON and ELI” (MANNING) tonight to watch and discuss the third quarter of the New York Giants-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game on ESPN2 and ESPN+, around 10 to 10:30 p.m. Rice is a longtime Cleveland Browns and Alabama Crimson Tide fan who has served on the College Football Playoff selection committee and said her dream job is NFL commissioner. The telecast begins at 8:15 p.m.
Flashback: Rice models NFL apparel with MELANIA TRUMP, SERENA WILLIAMS and other well-known women in a 2012 ad campaign for the league
Good Monday morning. Thanks for reading Playbook. Drop us a line: Rachael Bade, Eugene Daniels, Ryan Lizza, Tara Palmeri.
A message from Amazon:
In America, only 23% of workers have access to paid parental leave, which means new parents miss out on bonding with their families. That number is even worse for low-income workers. Amazon offers up to 20 weeks of fully paid leave for hourly employees like Julie. “It was a relief to know we didn’t have to worry about work during a very stressful time,” she said.
INFLATION WATCH — The Biden White House has become much more attuned to the political damage that the highest inflation since 1992 is inflicting. On Tuesday, the president will make remarks about lowering prices, an issue that now claims the kind of attention previously reserved for fighting the pandemic and promoting his infrastructure and reconciliation bills.
Our latest POLITICO-Morning Consult poll offers fresh data about why that is. While the fiercest inflation hawks, such as LARRY SUMMERS, don’t see much of an inflationary impact from the reconciliation bill, which is loaded with long-term spending, a plurality of the public disagrees:
— Some decent polling news for Biden: 49% of voters support the reconciliation bill and 38% oppose it. Thirteen percent of voters don’t know or have no opinion (they clearly don’t subscribe to Playbook).
— Some good inflation news for Biden: “Supply-Chain Problems Show Signs of Easing,” by WSJ’s Stella Yifan Xie, Jon Emont and Alistair MacDonald
A message from Amazon:
Amazon’s parental leave policy helps employees navigate the challenges of parenthood and offers options to ease back to work on their own terms.
— 10 a.m.: The president and VP will receive the President’s Daily Brief.
— 4 p.m.: The Bidens will leave the White House for Fort Bragg, N.C., arriving at 5:25 p.m.
— 6 p.m.: The Bidens will have a friendsgiving with service members and military families as part of the Joining Forces initiative.
— 7:40 p.m.: The Bidens will depart Fort Bragg, arriving back at the White House at 9 p.m.
HARRIS’ MONDAY: The VP will also deliver remarks about equity and the health care workforce at an event at 3:30 p.m. with Surgeon General VIVEK MURTHY and LUIS PADILLA.
The White House Covid-19 response team and public health officials will brief (time TBA). Press secretary JEN PSAKI will gaggle aboard Air Force One on the way to Fort Bragg.
BIDEN’S WEEK AHEAD: The president will deliver remarks about the economy and lowering prices Tuesday. Then he, first lady JILL BIDEN, Harris and second gentleman DOUG EMHOFF will take part in a service project in D.C. And the Bidens will close out Tuesday by heading to Nantucket for the holiday.
STEP INSIDE THE WEST WING: What’s really happening in West Wing offices? Find out who’s up, who’s down, and who really has the president’s ear in our West Wing Playbook newsletter, the insider’s guide to the Biden White House and Cabinet. For buzzy nuggets and details that you won’t find anywhere else, subscribe today.
PHOTO OF THE DAY: Debris litters the street in Waukesha, Wis., where an SUV drove through pedestrians at a holiday parade, killing five and injuring dozens more on Sunday, Nov. 21. | Jim Vondruska/Getty Images
FOX IN THE HENHOUSE — STEPHEN HAYES and JONAH GOLDBERG announced Sunday they’re leaving Fox News over TUCKER CARLSON’s “Patriot Purge” series, an attempt to rewrite the history of the Jan. 6 insurrection. Their departures, and the series’ capitulation to the outlandish fringe of American politics, mark “the end of a lingering hope among some at Fox News … that the channel would at some point return to a pre-Trump reality that was also often hyperpartisan, but that kept some distance from Republican officials,” writes NYT’s Ben Smith. Carlson called their exits “great news”; a Fox spokesperson sent him data showing that independents watch the network. Hayes and Goldberg’s announcement
NPR’s David Folkenflik’s story: “According to five people with direct knowledge, the resignations reflect larger tumult within Fox News over Carlson’s series ‘Patriot Purge’ and his increasingly strident stances, and over the network’s willingness to let its opinion stars make false, paranoid claims against President Biden, his administration and his supporters.
“Veteran figures on Fox’s news side, including political anchors BRET BAIER and CHRIS WALLACE, shared their objections with Fox News Media CEO SUZANNE SCOTT and its president of news, JAY WALLACE. Those objections rose to LACHLAN MURDOCH, the chairman and CEO of the network’s parent company, Fox Corporation. Through a senior spokeswoman, Scott and Wallace declined comment. Murdoch did not return a request for comment through a spokesman.”
GLASS HALF FULL — After a brutal few months, the White House is feeling a little better after last week: BIF signed into law, BBB through one chamber, booster shots available for all and a treatment pill on the way, jobs numbers improving. Laura Barrón-López reports that Democrats are a bit more upbeat heading into the holiday, sensing that a narrative turnaround might be in the offing, while acknowledging the tough road ahead. MIKE DONILON makes a cameo in the piece, and Laura also reports that LOUISA TERRELL and National Economic Council Director BRIAN DEESE played a crucial role in shepherding the reconciliation bill over the finish line in the House.
GLASS HALF EMPTY — New Hampshire Democrats were too worried about 2024 to celebrate much when Biden came to town Tuesday for an event touting the BIF, reports AP’s Steve Peoples. At a Harris event in Ohio on Friday, only one member of Congress showed up. And 2024 speculation is swirling — “the mere existence of such conversations so soon into a new presidency is unusual,” he writes.
Lede quote from the story: “‘Democrats are concerned,’ former state House Speaker STEVE SHURTLEFF, a longtime Biden supporter who attended the ceremony, told The Associated Press when asked about Biden’s political standing. ‘I’m concerned about where we may be in another couple of years when people really start to gear up and start making trips to New Hampshire.’”
IT’S ALWAYS THE GROUP TEXTS — The organizers of the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal” rally dined on charcuterie and drank Champagne as the deadly Capitol insurrection raged for hours after the rally, Hunter Walker reports in a big new Rolling Stone story. He got his hands on the organizers’ group text messages, which reveal that the rally’s planning included an in-person meeting at the White House and “working with Trump’s team to announce the event, promote it, and grant access to VIP guests. “We are following POTUS’ lead,” one wrote Jan. 1 regarding tweeting about the rally. (A spokesperson for the organizers denied the story’s veracity.)
MOVING LIKE MOLASSES — The Senate Ethics Committee’s handling of a complaint against Sens. JOSH HAWLEY (R-Mo.) and TED CRUZ (R-Texas) over Jan. 6 and their objections to the 2020 election results “is plodding along at a snail’s pace, if it’s moving at all,” reports Burgess Everett. The senators say the committee hasn’t contacted them, and the very secretive panel isn’t saying anything about the status of an investigation.
A message from Amazon:
Advertisement Image
Amazon’s paid leave policy gives parents peace of mind. “My parental leave was paid, so we didn’t have to worry about anything,” said Kiddrick.
FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE — U.S. intelligence shows that if Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN chooses to invade Ukraine, Russia would be prepared for a massive and prolonged incursion of perhaps 100,000 troops from multiple directions, Bloomberg’s Alberto Nardelli and Jennifer Jacobs report. About half that number are already in place, with a potential wintertime invasion coming early in 2022. Still, the U.S. thinks Putin likely hasn’t made a decision yet.
LOOKING TOWARD VIENNA — As Iran has been putting things back together quickly after Israeli attacks on its nuclear facilities this year, NYT’s David Sanger, Steven Erlanger, Farnaz Fassihi and Lara Jakes write, “One senior American official wryly called it Tehran’s Build Back Better plan.” Iran’s in a strengthened position ahead of the next round of talks in Vienna this month. The U.S. is increasingly pessimistic about the chances of reviving the nuclear deal, and officials are indicating that more sanctions could be in the cards if Iran plays hardball. But, they report, the U.S. has lately been considering a small interim deal to buy more time.
DEPT. OF TOUGH LOVE — It sounded something like the Trump era at the Halifax International Security Forum this weekend, as America’s allies “expressed their fears and doubts about the health of American democracy and questioned Washington’s commitments to countering Beijing or Moscow,” Andrew Desiderio, Alexander Ward and Paul McLeary report from Nova Scotia. With a particular focus on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, a conference that could have been a big reemergence for America on the world stage instead turned into more of a Dr. Phil-style intervention. Six senators from both parties also took home a message of deep concern about congressional paralysis.
HAITI LATEST — Two of the 17 captured American and Canadian missionaries in Haiti have been freed, Christian Aid Ministries announced Sunday.
ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL — The Obama and Trump administrations allowed China to take over Congolese cobalt mines that will be pivotal to the development of electric vehicle batteries as the world transitions to clean energy, report NYT’s Eric Lipton and Dionne Searcey in a major investigation. Even as TOM PERRIELLO and others tried to stop the 2016 sale, it emerged as another instance in which the U.S. “essentially surrendered the resources to China, failing to safeguard decades of diplomatic and financial investments in Congo,” thanks to the “significant blind spots of U.S. leaders.”
WHAT THE LEFT IS THINKING — Rep. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-Mich.) told Jonathan Swan for “Axios on HBO” that she’s worried about what’s going to happen to the reconciliation bill in the Senate once “corporate Democrats” (Manchin, Sinema, et al) start changing it.
THE MAINSTREAMING OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE — Security risks are growing for public officials from Congress to local government, NBC’s Henry Gomez reports, fueled especially by violent grievances among Trumpist Republicans but also by the pandemic and in some corners of the left. The Capitol Police expect to log 9,000 threats this year. Gomez reveals several previously unreported incidents targeting Reps. JOE NEGUSE (D-Colo.), TOM RICE (R-S.C.), TED LIEU (D-Calif.), ANTHONY GONZALEZ (R-Ohio) and JOHN KATKO (R-N.Y.) and Sen. SUSAN COLLINS (R-Maine).
POLL OF THE DAY — Texas Gov. GREG ABBOTT holds a 6-point lead over BETO O’ROURKE, per a new Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler poll, and has a 10-point advantage in a three-way race over O’Rourke and MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY. In a head-to-head matchup, McConaughey leads Abbott by 8 points. But it’s not clear how he’d get there: By a large margin, Democrats say they think O’Rourke is their best bet. One other interesting data point: Biden has a 42% approval rating, a couple of points higher than he did in September, contrary to the plummeting numbers he’s seen elsewhere. The poll
RITTENHOUSE SPEAKS — Fresh off his acquittal on all counts, KYLE RITTENHOUSE will have an interview with Carlson airing on Fox News tonight at 8 p.m. In a clip released in advance, Rittenhouse says that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and peaceful demonstrations, and that he’s not racist. “This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race,” he says. “It had to do with the right to self-defense.” His mother also says he has remorse. Watch the clip
— Conservative paramilitary groups have taken his acquittal as vindication and encouragement, reports NYT’s Charles Homans.
— The step back, from AP’s Morgan Lee: “Across much of the nation, it has become increasingly acceptable for Americans to walk the streets with firearms, either carried openly or legally concealed.”
ALMOST AS FUN AS COACHELLA — For POLITICO Magazine, Derek Robertson went to the “Let’s Go Brandon Fall Festival” in Brandon Township, Mich., where the Michigan Conservative Coalition made gleeful use of the anti-Biden euphemism. In speaking to attendees, he writes, “I was struck by how mild most of them were. Their politics, in person, sounded nothing like the conspiracy and vitriol that poured from the stage, and which ostensibly brought them to Brandon that day.” But he ends up drawing “an unexpectedly ominous lesson” from the event.
INTRODUCING DIGITAL FUTURE DAILY – OUR TECHNOLOGY NEWSLETTER, RE-IMAGINED: Technology is always evolving, and our new tech-obsessed newsletter is too! Digital Future Daily unlocks the most important stories determining the future of technology, from Washington to Silicon Valley and innovation power centers around the world. Readers get an in-depth look at how the next wave of tech will reshape civic and political life, including activism, fundraising, lobbying and legislating. Go inside the minds of the biggest tech players, policymakers and regulators to learn how their decisions affect our lives. Don’t miss out, subscribe today.
Kyrsten Sinema, asked if she’s an enigma, said, “I don’t even know what enigma means, really. No one really does.”
MEDIA MOVE — Matthew Kendrick is joining Morning Consult as the new geopolitics reporter, authoring their newest daily morning news briefing, Morning Consult Global. He previously was a production assistant and editorial producer at CNN.
TRANSITIONS — Emily Davis is now comms director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. She previously was VP of congressional and public affairs at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. … Ian McKendry is now VP and head of public affairs communication at U.S. Bank. He previously was VP of public relations at the American Bankers Association.
ENGAGED — Sofia Rose Gross, head of policy partnerships and social impact at Snap and a public affairs officer for the U.S. Navy Reserve, and Michael Haft, co-founder of Compass Coffee, got engaged on Sunday. The couple met on Bumble — she swiped right because his profile said he had served in the Marine Corps (and she thought he was very cute) and she was thinking about applying for the Navy Reserve and wanted some advice, but then the two ended up falling in love. He proposed Sunday morning on one of their regular Sunday jogs. Pics
WEDDINGS — Raphael Chavez-Fernandez, deputy assistant VA secretary for intergovernmental affairs, and Artin Haghshenas, a legislative assistant for Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), got married Saturday at the Mansion at Natirar in Peapack and Gladstone, N.J. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) officiated; the couple met while working for him in 2015. Pic
— Todd Inman, the former Trump DOT chief of staff who is now secretary of Florida’s Department of Management Services, and Ann Duncan, chief strategy officer for Savills North America, got married on Saturday. The couple, who met at a meeting of Florida Tax Watch, wed at the Opryland hotel in Nashville and are honeymooning on Nicaragua’s Calala Island. Pic
— Sara Lynn Rafferty, associate at Jones Day and a Kay Granger alum, and Michael Anthony Filipelli, a former U.S. Marine and a senior electrical engineer at Vorbeck Materials, got married Oct. 23 on Marco Island, Fla. They met after a 5K Friday run in Arlington. Pic Another pic SPOTTED: Judge Jerome Holmes and Jeri Holmes, and Ed and Marie Royce.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield … Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) … Bettina Inclán-Agen … The Hill’s Scott Wong … CNN’s Cassie SpodakRob Atkinson of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation … Josh Alcorn … ABC’s Matthew MoskShefali Razdan Duggal Matt StrawnJacob WoodNed Price … Brunswick Group’s Robert ChristieAnnie ShoupSarah O’NeillAbbie FickesTim Cameron of FlexPoint Media … Meghan DuganWelles Orr … Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert James Williams of Arnold Ventures … Lauren Reamy of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) office … The Daily Beast’s Harry Siegel Meena GanesanAndy Stern … POLITICO’s Elizabeth Powell and Kalyn Tuttle … TheSkimm’s Jessica Turtletaub Donny Deutsch … BBC’s George AlagiahTim R. CohenJosh Goldstein … former Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.)
Did someone forward this email to you? Sign up here.
Send Playbookers tips to [email protected]. Playbook couldn’t happen without our editor Mike Zapler, deputy editor Zack Stanton and producers Allie Bice, Eli Okun and Garrett Ross.
A message from Amazon:
When Kiddrick and Julie’s daughter was born, Amazon’s paid leave policy allowed them to spend precious time with her, without having to deal with the loss of a paycheck.
“I made sure I spent every minute with her,” said Kiddrick.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of Playbook misstated Todd Inman's title. He is secretary of Florida’s Department of Management Services.


What's your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.